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Negotiating Spain: The shifting boundaries between 'nation', 'nationality' and 'region'


NEGOTIATINGSPAIN focuses on the actual negotiation of shifting political boundaries. The case is the negotiation between the Spanish nation-state and the sub-state regional level since 1979. These processes are not unique to Spain; other European countries as Belgium and Great Britain also witness processes of shifting legitimacy and sovereignty between state and regional level. The probability of one of these processes ending with the independence of one of its regions is significantly higher now than it as just a few years back.
These processes therefore carry a high potential for instability and can possibly have wide-ranging effects not just on the country in question but also on the European Union as a whole. It is the ambitious aim of this project to advance the understanding of these processes and thus potentially improve the governance of EU memberstates and the EU. This will be achieved by multidisciplinary research focused on the Spanish constitutionally settled decentralisation process that integrates social sciences and humanities research.
The multidisciplinarity results from the unique combination of my competencies as historian and philologist and those of the host-institution, in particular the scientist in charge, in political sociology. Due to Spain’s open-ended constitutional settlement and 30+ years of development, the country represents a particularly interesting case since the shifting boundary can be investigated over time. Analysing the parliamentary proceedings surrounding the negotiation processes of the Statutes of Autonomy by means of computer-assisted qualitative analysis of text and by means of a history of concepts approach I advance the understanding of the processes behind the shifting legitimacy and sovereignty in the Spanish case. The cross European relevance and applicability of the study will be secured by an Advisory Board, through a number of deliverables and through networking and dissemination activities aimed at this.

Fields of science

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Carretera De Utrera Km 1
41013 Sevilla
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 230 036,60
Administrative Contact
Marta Mercado (Ms.)